03 October 2007

Emmeline B. Wells: My Favorite Mormon

One of the many, actually.

From the diary of Emmeline B. Wells
Feb. 24. 1845.
"This day like all others is full of trouble sorrow and afflic- tion are my attendants O my God how long wilt thou suffer this once I could have filled this book with expressions of happiness but Alas sorrow is my portion I behold those around me enjoying the society of their dearest friends while I am cut short and why is it is it because of my sin and wickedness or is it a trial of my patience Heavenly Parent is the name of thy Holy Son Jesus do I beseech thee to pity and send comfort and consolation to an afflicted soul have mercy and forgive and grant me the desire of my heart and I will forever praise thee O that I had a mother or sister to advise me but I am cut short of all these blessings I have friends dare I unbosom my heart to them no no I know them not but those I have tried and proved I am not afraid to trust Grat Father of merciest be pleased to grant me the request of my heart."

I discovered Emmeline B. Wells while doing research for my women's history Personal Progress project over the summer. I instantly fell in love with her story because of the parallels that exist between it and the life I am living.

Emmeline Wells joined the Church when she was 14. She left her family on the east coast to join the Saints in Nauvoo, and finally settled in Utah as a plural wife. She blossomed as a writer, and was deeply involved in the woman's suffrage movement, writing articles for The Women's Exponent. She was a proponent of polygamy because she realized that the resulting social structure allowed for women to advance in propriety and spiritual growth. She became a Relief Society general president, one of the oldest women's organizations in the United States. She was also the first woman to graduate from Brigham Young University with an honorary degree.

Emmeline B. Wells did not confine herself to the ordiary life dealt to her at birth. Because she strived for something more, she lived an extraordinary life, and left an inspirational legacy behind her. And its her example that has come to mean so much to my life as a writer and a member of the Church.

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